Jul 15, 2013 update to the Ford Model A project car

Death to the Wobble!

The Model A has been running so well, I even took a detour to breakfast.
To figure out what was wrong, I jacked the car up and gave each wheel a solid shake.
The culprit? Loose wheel bearings. I tightened them up, and the A now drives wobble-free.

I’m a 19-year-old kid named Tom, and my great-grandfather sold this very car new at his Ford dealership in 1929. Now I’m using it as my daily driver.

My updates so far have mainly focused on glaring issues, things that prevented me from driving the Model A. Now that it’s running well, I’ve started to notice the less-glaring issues.

The worst, by far, is what’s commonly referred to as death wobble. This is when the front wheels basically try to leave the car, and in my case it happened whenever I hit the brakes. Obviously, something in the front suspension wasn’t right.

So, I jacked up the car and shook each wheel back and forth. This allowed me to see and feel where there was play in the system. To my surprise, most of it seemed to be coming from the wheel bearings. These are easy to tighten up, and after a few minutes of adjustment the A’s death wobble was cured. While it was up on jackstands, I also took the time to test each joint with a big pair of pliers. I’ll need to rebuild the steering box at some point, but for now nothing else needed my attention.

With the death wobble fixed, I hopped in the car at 8:30am just like any other day. In fact, I even took the long way and stopped at my favorite breakfast joint. As usual, the Model A was a hit with everybody inside.

My new goal is to go 2 days straight without working on the A. Do you think I’ll succeed?

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